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17 Nov 2017


IFA in Brussels

Catch up with what IFA has been working on in Brussels for the last week, 13-17th November. 

Reports from Mercosur negotiations in Brazil last week indicate TRQ levels of 100,000-130,000t for beef being discussed. With 86% of EU beef imports coming from Mercosur countries currently, the European market does not have capacity to absorb such high volumes of high value cuts particularly when consumption is forecast to fall by 466,000t in the next 3 years.

Horizon 2020 Information Day

This meeting was attended by IFA’s Ethan Cleary and Liam MacHale and was addressed by John Bell from DG Research & Innovation. The rural renaissance involves €1.3bn investment in the rural economy and climate change and helping the drive for conversion from fossil fuels to renewables. The issue is how to de-risk investment in sector where only the public sector has normally stepped in previously. Calls to tender for Work Programme of Sustainable Food Security Projects 2018-2020 were announced.

COPA Working Party meeting on Beef

This was attended by IFA’s Angus Woods, Kevin Kinsella and Liam MacHale and discussed competition rules in the food chain which overly protects consumers without assisting producers. IFA expressed need for greater transparency in the beef sector in relation to audits in Mercosur (Brazil). There were 22 shipments banned due to breaches of quality control since March. A request for an impact assessment of Mercosur deal including Brexit was suggested. European Beef Consumption has fallen significantly and JRC said EU beef sector could fall by as much as 16% due to effect of trade deals.

Presidents of FNSEA (France) and DBV (Germany) debate future of CAP

FNSEA President Christiane Lambert and DBV President Joachim Rukweid debated future of CAP post 2020 including issues such as trade, Brexit, SPS and Food Chain. On Budget Mr. Rukweid said an increase in Member State contribution to EU (1% of GDP) was merited, and that EU did not have room for 70,000t of Mercosur beef, which Ms Lambert supported. The high concentration in market share of German and French retailers led to a joint call for EU regulation. A strong German French axis would strengthen Farming Families.

Commission event on Bioeconomy

This was attended by Ethan Cleary and Liam MacHale. The bioeconomy operates across 9 Commission directorates and the key focus was how to move from innovation to localisation (how to make it happen on the ground). Commissioner Moedas emphasised his support of cross discipline policy making and pointed out the well defined bioeconomy policy in Finland. Commissioner Hogan sent his message of support for the Bioeconomy strategy. Pierre Bascou from DG Agri said it was important that farmers did not “miss the train.”

Commission Event on Digitising Agriculture and Food Value Chains. 

This day long event was attended by IFA’s Ethan Cleary and Liam MacHale and was addressed by Commissioner Hogan. The Commissioner promised to give research and innovation a prominent role in the new CAP and to drive digitisation in agriculture. This is part of the Cork 2.0 commitment to provide a better service and a better life to rural citizens. Pearse O’Donohue from DG Connect spoke about the Internet of Food and Farm 2020(IOF2020) farm pilot project which allows work in Agriculture to connect to other services.

Up next

  • COPA Working Group on Sheep to be attended by John Lynskey and Angus Woods on Monday 20th November
  • Public Hearing on Glyphosate in the European Parliament to be attended by Liam MacHale on Monday 20th Nov
  • Meeting with IFA Cork Group visiting the European Parliament with Sean Kelly MEP on Mon 20th Nov
  • Birdlife CAP Conference on 21st November to be attended by Liam MacHale
  • COPA Working Group on Environment to be attended by Thomas Ryan on Tuesday 21st November
  • Commission Civil Dialogue on Sheep to be chaired by Angus Woods and attended by John Lynskey on Tuesday 21st November
  • IFA Cork Group meetings with Oana Neagu(COPA Director Rural Development and bioeconomy) and Paulo Gouveia(COPA Director CAP and Food Chain) on Tuesday 21st November
  • COPA Working Group on Fruit & Vegetables to be attended by Pat Farrell on Tuesday 21st November
  • IFA Cork Group dinner with Sean Kelly MEP on Tuesday 21st November
  • Agriculture Committee meeting in European Parliament on Wednesday 22nd November and Thursday 23rd November
  • Meeting with FG County Councillors visiting European Parliament to be attended by Liam MacHale on Wednesday 22nd November
  • Meeting with Mountbellew Agriculture College delegation (Principal, Chairman and Board Member) on Wednesday 22nd November
  • Civil Society Dialogue on Mercosur on Wednesday 22nd November
  • European Farmers Association Directors (POCC) meeting in preparation for Praesidium to be attended by Liam MacHale on Thursday 23rd November
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